Let the Battle Begin

Posted in Feature on August 1, 2013

By Luis Scott-Vargas

Luis Scott-Vargas plays, writes, and makes videos about Magic. He has played on the Pro Tour for almost a decade, and between that and producing content for ChannelFireball, often has his hands full (of cards).

I've always been a fan of Battle of Wits, and the fact that William "Huey" Jensen Top 8ed Grand Prix Milwaukee with Battle has always impressed me. There is something so awesome about playing so many cards, both for the incredibly varied game experiences and because you get to feel like you literally outwitted your opponent when you win with Battle.

Battle of Wits

When Magic 2013 came out, I tried to do just that, win with Battle of Wits, but did not have as much success as I would have liked. It's hard to build a viable Battle deck, and I was unable to make a ton of headway. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Patrick Chapin wrote about a potential Battle list in this (Premium) article.

He was examining a number of potential new brews in Standard, and Battle of Wits was one of them. Much like the Battle lists I was trying, he stuck with just two colors, blue and black. The main reason for that is mana; with a 231-card deck, you run out of dual lands very quickly, and the more colors you play, the more trouble you are asking for. Unfortunately, mono-blue is not deep enough to be an option, so Patrick went with black, mainly for removal.

This deck is exactly what I want to be doing in a normal deck, just writ large. It's all removal, card draw, and counterspells, which sounds glorious. It's got a few ways to find Battle of Wits, a lot of ways to make sure you survive until you can do so, and even Ætherlings to provide a very solid backup plan. It even has the one Elixir of Immortality necessary to make sure you can always get back to above 200 cards, regardless of how many Forbidden Alchemies you've cast.

Battle of Wits is an awesome time, and I'd highly recommend it. I've found it to be more fun on Magic Online, just because shuffling is such a pain, but there is something to be said for

Patrick Chapin's Battle of Wits

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